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OPNFV Project Proposal: Carrier Grade Requirements for Network Transformation

Version: 0.3 (Sept 22, 2015)

Project Name:

Codename: Transformer

Descriptive name: Carrier Grade Requirements for Network Transformation

Project Categories:

  • Documentation

Project Description

High Level Description of Motivation, Objective and Deliverables:


The Transformer project aims at complementing OPNFV projects in the area of interoperability, functionality and performance testing of selected, important VNFs for a mixed physical NF (PNF) and VNF environment as typically found in service provider networks based on 3GPP standards.

The implementation and integration of Cloud/NFV/SDN solutions in 3GPP based telecom networks is - in majority of cases - expected to be done in a step-wise approach. New NVFI/VNF elements will be introduced into the existing network architecture and will have to co-exist, integrate and interwork with existing native, in many cases physical Network Elements.

Knowing this, there is a requirement to secure interoperability on the “vertical” domain (like NFVI interoperability to VNF) and on the “horizontal” domain (i.e. between network functions, either virtualized or native). Last but not least interoperability to the devices and applications using the network functions is also required to ensure end-user experience performance.

The figure below illustrates the coexistence of virtualized infrastructure in a native 3GPP based network environment. This shows a typical scenario during the transformation phase towards a virtualized telecom network.

Since the transformation of networks towards a fully virtualized environment will take a long time mixed deployments will be a reality for the years to come. During Network Transformation service provider requirements with regard to overall network performance and NF characteristics with regard to e.g. latency or high availability (99.999%) have to be met.

To ensure the service quality and network performance additional testing of NFVI and VNFs in a mixed native/physical and virtual environment should be considered. Existing OPNFV projects address testing in a pure virtual environment only.

Transformer aims at complementing OPNFV projects to assess carrier grade characteristics based on available standards (like 3GPP) for mixed environments during network transformation.


From Testing and Performance perspectives, there are three main levels of testing and validations to be considered:

1. Interoperability 
2. Functionality
3. Performance

Initial focus of Transformer is on Interoperability following 3GPP standards. The stability and correct interworking on 3GPP defined interfaces is the foundation for interoperability while the balanced and aligned setting of parameters in the involved network elements will be crucial to obtain the optimal performance.

Transformer will define a set of interoperability requirements per use-case. It will also anaylze and make recommendation for Processes, Methods and Tools to be used for the actual testing activities. Additionaly Transformer will work on acceptance criteria for the test results.

The interoperability and functionality testing shall be run as the base prior to performance testing, if possible with a minimal configuration/Sandbox approach and protocol analyzers on the relevant interconnection points based on standardized interfaces to the native network elements.

It is obvious, that the large number of open & standardized interfaces in telecommunication networks lead to a big range of possible configurations of (multi-vendor) network solutions, including virtualized and non-virtualized elements.

Since the potential full scope of work covering the complete Telecom domain would be very broad and not feasible to be handled in this project, it is recommended to primarily look at selected VNF use cases only.

As an example, the table below provides an overview of horizontal integration points of typical EPC and IMS related VNFs towards native Network Elements:

Transformer is not intended to execute or facilitate any integration or testing activities but will set the framework (Requirements, Acceptance Criteria, Processes, Methods, Tools) for such integration and testing projects.


Requirement Definition

Per VNF a requirement sheet about the high level scope for the interoperability, functionality and performance testing based on use cases will be defined. Each requirement sheet will be stored as separate file.

Example for use case and applicable test case:



  • OPNFV projects: Tbd, but in general all projects participating in a release
  • Other non-OPNFV owned projects and foras (like 3GPP, ETSI, ITU)

Committers and Contributors


  • Younes Fettah (
  • Michael Wiegers (


Planned Deliverables

Propose to start with documentation for specific VNFs and use cases. Those should be agreed within the project and aligned with the community work.

Proposed Release Schedule

Target for first Transformer release is OPNFV C-release


1. ETSI NFV ISG Portal
2. ETSI GS NFV 001 V1.1.1: Network Function Virtualization; Use cases

Key Project Facts

Project Name: Transformer
Repo name: Transformer
Project Category: Documentation
Lifecycle State:
Primary Contact: Younes Fettah (, Michael Wiegers (
Project Lead: Younes Fettah (
Jira Project Name: Tbd
Jira Project Prefix: [10 Characters max [A-Z] ]
mailing list tag [Should match Jira Project Prefix]
Link to TSC approval: Tbd
Link to approval of additional submitters: Tbd

transformer_-_carrier_grade_requirements_for_network_transformation.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/24 12:19 by Michael Wiegers